Unless otherwise indicated, performances will occur in the main chapel.
Bellevue Youth Choirs offer unmatched musicianship training, inspired performances, and a joyful, spirited community for youth. Consisting of seven choirs with serving ages 4-18, BYC teaches students more than just singing. Based on the Kodály approach, students are taught sight-reading skills and the importance of individual perseverance and preparation. Led by Artistic Director Nicholas Gorne, a choral artist and director in the Puget Sound region. He has taught music in every level of Kindergarten to 12th Grade and has sung tenor with Choral Arts Northwest in Seattle since 2001. He was a mentor and conductor with the Vivace! Choral Program from 2011-2018 under the direction of Andrea Klouse. He has had the honor and privilege to perform at the White House for President Obama and the First Lady and has performed on stage with Seattle Opera and the 5th Avenue Theatre. Nicholas performs regularly throughout the Puget Sound Region and is active as a musical director for regional theatre.
Ginger Ellingson is the director of Premier. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound on scholarships for academics and music, and studied Vocal Performance in Vienna, Austria as a highlight of her training. She continued her studies at the University of Washington where she focused on secondary choral music education and earned her Washington State Teaching Certificate. She has performed with many ensembles in the greater Seattle area, most recently Choral Arts Northwest, and has been a featured soloist with Seattle Pro Musica, Bellevue Chamber Chorus, The Redmond Chorale, and the University of Washington Chamber Singers. In addition to conducting the Premier Choir with BYC, Ginger is the Choral Music Director at Eastside Preparatory School and teaches the choir of the Seattle Rock Orchestra Social Club. Ginger is as comfortable singing around a campfire as she is on stage, and firmly believes that music is an integral part of education and humanity, and will always make your day better.
Visit us at www.bellevueyouthchoirs.org. Our winter concert, Heaven & Earth, will be held December 7th at 3:00 PM at Lindbergh High School in Renton, WA.
Established in 1984 by Steve Stevens, Columbia Choirs of Metropolitan Seattle is a non-profit, international award-winning family of choirs rehearsing in Redmond; children’s choir, youth choir, women’s choir, and adult mixed choir. While we have performed throughout the world, we have remained focused on our regional community; lending our talents for music and singing to help worthy causes supporting children, families and senior citizens; people in need. Perhaps you have seen the choir performing for big events/concerts in Benaroya Hall with Seattle Symphony and in concerts benefitting various worthy causes. We have performed numerous times on annual the “Ten Grands” (supporting music programs in the schools), for the “Make-A-Wish Foundation” many times, and for auction events and performances to be auctioned off to support worthy causes.
Do you long for peace? Do you wish you knew how you could invite more calm into your life? This performance on our Bellevue Nativity Choral Day focuses directly on ways to find peace. Peace on earth. Goodwill to men. It’s our desire for all humanity to find personal peace and spread that gift to all those around them. Sung by missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in the Bellevue and surrounding areas, this program is a gift to you in words and music describing where you can turn for peace.
Deanna is thrilled to be back in the PNW doing vocal jazz. After having spent college singing lead for Dave Barduhn’s Genesis and Vijay Singh’s VJ1 at CWU, she taught choir at Redmond High School before starting her family. Now, five kids and many moves later, she continues to perform, study, arrange, compose, and record whenever she can. The meaning of Christmas truly changes and deepens each time we celebrate it. This jazzy solo piano/vocal set will get you ready to ‘deck the halls and give a cheer for all the things that Christmas is each year.’
The YouTube sensation that stole our hearts is back to charm us once again! Claire Crosby and her family have spread love and light all over the globe through their videos – with millions and millions of views. They humbly describe their contribution of positivity as “Just a 7-year-old little girl who loves to sing and make music with her family.” We are thrilled to have them join us live at the Bellevue Festival of the Nativity. They will be singing songs including Silent Night, The First Noel, and more!
I have been doing music all my life and have worked at many schools and with various groups in the area. I have accompanied thousands of musicals and professional events. I love working with music, children, and especially my special population choir of Issaquah, WA. I will be performing with a children’s’ choir for the first three numbers, then some special friends and musicians, including, Jeff Davis, Juili White, Corban Thompson, Jackson Bean, Quin Bean, Liz Thompson, Mike Arnesen, Max Arnesen, Beth Puryear, and other children. With special feature…. the special pops choir of Issaquah.
The Bateman Family has been singing Christmas carols together since our oldest was seven years old. She is now 24. Over the years the children have learned new instruments, their voices have changed, and some of them have left home. Through it all, we have kept singing and found more and more music that we adore. We can’t wait to perform it for you this year!
The Currit family along with some friends are excited to share Christmas music that they love playing together. They will play the piano, saxophone and upright bass. Some favorites include O Come O Come Emmanuel on the bass and Carol of the Bells piano duet. There will be some jazz and some traditional Christmas songs. The Bellevue Festival of the Nativity is one of their favorite Christmas traditions and they are looking forward to participating this year.
Crescendo has been singing and performing together for years, presenting recitals and participating in concerts, festivals, and private events. Our group, composed of family and friends, enjoys performing a wide range of music, including Broadway musical; sacred; and classical pieces. Mostly, we just love making and enjoying music together! Some of our numbers will include: “Star of Bethlehem”, “Jingle Bells”, and the beautiful “O Jesulein Suss”. The group consists of Amy Warner, Forest Warner, Linda Collyer, Lynn van der Put, and Remy van der Put.
Join us for a tender Christmas Storytime tale by the beloved Richard Paul Evans. Let the kids come up front and listen to a Christmas story read by one of our dear friends, Steve Bean. Along with being a grandpa and former bishop, Steve is one of the Nativity organizers this year. He would love to share this story with your family.
Join us for a Christmas Storytime, especially for littles. Let the kids come up front and listen to the classic Christmas story, Santa Mouse. Written by Michael Brown, illustrated by Elfreida DeWitt, and read by one of our dear friends, Anne Witten, a former school and public librarian, preschool teacher, and grandmother extraordinaire.
Missy and Brayden have been playing the piano and singing together since they fell in love four years ago in Utah. Between the two of them, they share four decades worth of piano and vocal performance experience!
With a new little addition to their family, the Crump’s now enjoy arranging pieces from the LDS children’s songbook. For their time slot at the Bellevue Nativity, they will perform Brayden’s medley arrangement of I feel My Savior’s Love/Where Love Is, as well as a special rendition of Samuel Prophesied of the Baby Jesus.
Along with these songs, the Crump’s will also perform familiar classics such as Oh Holy Night, The Prayer, and a playful piano duet of Sleigh Ride.
Melina is a classically trained soprano and pianist originally from Yakima, WA (where she was named Yakima’s Best Singer in 2006). Having appeared in leading roles in her high school’s award-winning musical theatre program (Cosette in Les Misérables, etc.), she immediately went on to be musical director for five productions there, and at other local high schools upon graduation (Jekyll & Hyde, Aida, Jesus Christ Superstar). While still in school, she became a theatre regular in her hometown community, gaining local recognition and praise for leading and supporting roles in Little Women, Godspell, The Grapes of Wrath (with Will & Co. Shakespeare), The Secret Garden, and Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding. She was recruited into the University of Idaho’s pilot program for the Musical Theatre major, and upon finishing school, took time to pursue songwriting and choral arranging before relocating to Seattle in 2008. This is Melina’s 10th season as Musical Director with Broadway Bound Children’s Theatre, where she is also Co-Artistic Director. Outside of theatre, Melina continues to create new musical works and recently finished a 5-year stint as a resident soloist with the Seattle Ensign Symphony and Chorus.
Go back in time with beloved Christmas favorites from the height of the swing era. We are so thrilled to share the Seattle premiere of Tim Schwarz, the crooner with a vocal blend of Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and a little country. Tim is a San Antonio, Texas native and a current resident of Provo getting his Master’s in Business at the Brigham Young University School of Management. Look forward to hearing classics such as “Winter Wonderland”, “Let it Snow”, “Must’ve Been Old Santa Claus”, and more. You won’t want to miss it!
Lightly Salted performs songs you may have heard before, but in new ways you won’t forget. Using a variety of ethnic and traditional instruments (including ukulele, banjo, button accordion, toy piano, and more), this musical family fuses ancient and modern tradition as they explore the beauty of music.
Fronted by the youngest, the group consists of 18-year-old Faith Manning and her older brothers AJ and Logan. This year they are joined by special guest, percussionist Cameron Olson. The siblings have performed together around the Puget Sound area for the past decade (often with their father, Bill), during which time they have been known as The Moone Family Minstrels, The Ship’s Musicians, and RKO and the Ookies, to name a few.
Stephen Wightman, pianist, organist, singer grew up with parents that loved and participated in music and theater. He will be playing Christmas favorites on the piano and organ and then favoring us with vocal solos, including “Mary Did You Know” and “O Holy Night”.
Amiche Cantare – translated as “Friends Sing”- includes Stephanie Shipley, Laurie Bateman, and Kina Yukish, along with our talented accompanist, Amy Tait. We have enjoyed performing at the Bellevue Festival of Nativities for many years. We hope you will feel our reverence for the Christ Child as we perform Star Carol and See Amid the Winter’s Snow, and our joy in the Savior as we perform well-known Christmas anthems such as O Come, O Come Emmanuel, The First Noel, and Silent Night.
Seattle Ensign Youth and Children’s Choirs are a group of enthusiastic young voices, dedicated music leaders and accompanists, and committed families who volunteer their time and abilities to create wonderful musical experiences for young performers ages 7 to 18. Our ensembles are a part of our parent organization, Seattle Ensign Choir and Orchestra. Our music lifts souls, brings joy, hope, and comfort, and unites hearts – for both the audience and for the children in the choir. We are excited to join the Festival of Nativities performing songs such as Believe, In the Bleak Midwinter, The First Noel and other Christmas favorites from around the world.
One of the most beloved works of all time, Handel’s Messiah is a must for your holiday season. This performance is free and open to the public. This year’s performance will be held starting at 4pm. Come sing along with our choir and orchestra. Experience the power of the timeless choruses as your voice joins with ours. You can also witness our world-class featured soloists and conductor, Alexei Girsch.
Soprano, Elise Vikari Rhodes, hailing from North Bend Washington, earned a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan. Throughout her career, Elise has performed in numerous roles including Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Mother in Dog Days, New Prioress in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, and 1 Dame in Die Zauberflöte. Elise has also performed as the Soprano Soloist in multiple performances of Handel’s Messiah across the west. In 2017/2018, Elise was a District Winner and Northwest Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions. In 2019, Elise made her Directorial Debut as the Music Director and Conductor for Jerry Herman’s Hello Dolly! Elise’s critics have her described her voice as “world class”.
Alto, Larke Witten, soloist, voice teacher, music educator, choral conductor, Room Mom, kid taxi driver, wife, mother, and Texan are just of few of Larke’s titles. Her previous professional choral appearances have been as a member of the San Antonio Chamber Choir (as a charter member) and the South Dakota Chorale – performing with both at National ACDA Conventions. Currently, she sings with the award-winning choir, Choral Arts Northwest. Her collaborations include the San Antonio Choral Society, San Antonio Messiah, San Antonio Mastersingers, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, BYU Singers, BYU Concert Choir, the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, Vox 16, St. James Cathedral Cantorei, and Ward and Stake Choirs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Tenor, William Gardner, is recognized across the country as a promising young artist. This Seattle-based tenor regularly performs repertoire spanning opera, oratorio, and ensemble work. His 2019/20 season includes performances as tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, BWV 243, and the role of the Evangelist in Distler’s Die Weinachtsgeschichte, as well as projects with ensembles Choral Arts Northwest, the Byrd Ensemble, and the Seattle Opera Chorus. Highlights of his 2018/19 season included performances as tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Haydn’s The Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Christ lag in Todesbanden, and the role of Jeppo Liverotto in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia. Previous highlights include the role of Martin in Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land with Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Academy, as well as solo engagements with the Harvard University Choir, the Harvard Choruses, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. www.williamgardnertenor.com
Bass, Joseph Gee, has always had a passion for music. Classical piano won his heart first, but he was also involved in singing from an early age, singing in church, school, State, and All-Northwest choirs. In college, Joseph sang in the BYU Men’s Chorus and Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Mack Wilberg, and took private lessons from Barry Bounous and Dr. Clayne Robison. After earning !his B.A. in Music at BYU, Joseph took a more practical route for his day job, working in Finance for Microsoft but has continued performing in his free time in various choirs, small ensembles, and as a soloist. He has been featured multiple times as the bass soloist in the Messiah in the Bellevue stake and the Festival of the Nativity, and has also soloed with the Ensign Symphony and Chorus.
Come join us in this inspirational work of music!
The First Presidency invites Church members and their friends to participate in the First Presidency’s Christmas devotional broadcast on Sunday, December 8, 2019.
The program, originating from the Conference Center, will include Christmas messages by General Authorities and General Officers of the Church.
The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will provide the music.